Thursday, January 08, 2004

On a Vital Christian Doctrine, many Christians agree with Dr. Dean

I try to stay away from discussing politics. There are others such as Joshua Claybourn and Mark Byron who are infinitely more knowledgeable than I, and they also write from a Christian viewpoint. However, a recent comment by presidential candidate Howard Dean caught my eye. In regards to his decision as Governor of Vermont to sign a bill legalizing civil unions for gay couples, Dean said "The overwhelming evidence is that there is very significant, substantial genetic component [to homosexuality]. From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality was a sin, he would not have created gay people."

This is a favorite topic of mine, in as much that it has aspects of both theology and science. Long time readers will anticipate where I am going with this. I have blogged about it before.

I expect that there will a flurry of writings, some on Christian blogs, about how Dean is wrong regarding his position, which is in effect: God, being just, would not punish homosexuals for being born that way.

In my estimation a majority of Christians would argue that homosexuals were not born that way.

So on the issue of whether (at least some) homosexuals are born genetically predisposed to be gay:
  • Dean (and the supporters of homosexual rights) say yes.
  • The majority of Christians say no.
  • I agree with Dr. Dean. At least qualitatively. Evidence does suggest a genetic factor.

Now, on to what gives this post its title. As to the more important question of whether or not this is theologically relevant :
  • Dean (and the supporters of homosexual rights) say yes.
  • On this point, the majority of Christians agree with Dr. Dean.
  • I disagree. The issue has no theological significance.

It is one of those places where many Christians dig in their heels against scientific evidence, wrong-headedly thinking that an important article of faith is at stake (although in this case, for the life of me, I don't know what it is.)

I will make a bold, inflammatory statement: Any Christian who thinks it is vital to affirm that homosexuals are not born that way is severely deficient in his or her understanding of a vital Christian doctrine: Original Sin.

Question for those who argue that homosexuals are never born that way: Do you presume they were born innocent? Do you know what original sin means? Do you know in paedobaptism what the water signifies?

Because of original sin, we all are natural born sinners. And each of us is responsible for the consequences of his own sins, in spite of the fact that we are predisposed to commit them. Tough rules, but this is the only game in town. Of course, the gospel is the good news that shows the way out of the pit into which we enter the world.

The scientific question is really just a secondary-cause issue. God uses gravity to move the planets around. No doubt He could use our genes to encode original sin.

Christians who argue, in the face of evidence, that no homosexual is born that way display exactly the same ignorance regarding this basic doctrine of the faith (original sin) as does Dr. Dean.

God, being just, would not punish homosexuals for being born that way.

Yes he would. And He would also punish adulterers, coveters, liars, thieves, idolaters—in fact everyone on the planet for being born a sinner. There is only one way out: a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

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